Many users face the problem of “poor” Wi-Fi network operation: the speed is low, the connection is interrupted, the quality of coverage is poor, or something else. All these troubles can occur because you have the “wrong” channel selected in the router’s settings. If you live in a large apartment building (where the neighbors have their own Wi-Fi routers), then if the channels overlap with each other the quality of communication can significantly deteriorate.
Actually, in this article we are going to tell a little more about the channels and dealing with them on various operating systems. Checking it out will not take so much of your time but you will significantly improve the quality of your Wi-Fi network.
A quick guide on WI-FI channels and interference
Today, most routers work on the 2.4 GHz frequency (the 5 GHz frequency is much lower). The problem may arise when several routers start working on the same channel. It may lead to a decrease in speed and poor coverage. However, manual configuration can correct the situation. With special tools you can figure out what Wi-Fi networks are around and what channels they work on. After that, open the router settings, and set a specific channel. By the way, poor Wi-Fi coverage can be due not only to the wrong channel but also to the wrong location of the router. So take it also into account while arranging space at home.
How to find a free channel
For this there are special applications, both for the computer and for the phone. In addition, here you should keep in mind on what operating system you are working because the ways and means of picking up a free channel can depend on this. And now we are unpacking what specific tools you can apply regarding the OS you prefer.
A lot of Windows users opt for a WifiInfoView that is a tool allowing them to analyze WI-FI networks data on a totally free-of-charge basis. Besides, it is a very easy-to-use program that does not require to be installed. All you need to do is to download it and just run it. Then it will automatically find all the Wi-Fi networks in the area, displaying the MAC addresses, signal quality, frequency, router manufacturers, etc.
You may look for a free Wi-Fi channel with Android apps. This method for finding a free channel for the router is popular, since many people use Android phones, and applications for Wi-Fi analysis are completely free and available. Wifi Analyzer is one of the easiest applications for analyzing Wi-Fi networks, allowing you to find free channels. After installing and launching the application, click on the icon with the image of an eye at the top and select the item “Channel Graph”. In the graph you will see a representation of your and your neighbors’ networks, their channels and power.
Wavemon is a text-based tool with a very extensive functionality. On Ubuntu and Debian, it can be installed as well. Wavemon does not give recommendations on channel selection, but allows you to evaluate visually the use of each channel, that is often enough to make a decision on your own. The pluses of Wavemon are its wide functionality and easy-to-use keyboard shortcuts.
Selecting the best Wi-Fi channels on your router helps reduce interference and boost your WI-Fi signal. And these tools will assist you in identifying the least congested Wi-Fi channel in your area.